Nearly 80 boats fronted on the line today at sunny Busselton off the beach at Geographe Bay Yacht Club. Two races were slated for today and after a false start caused by a change in the wind direction; racing began in earnest at 4 pm as a nor-wester settled in across the bay.
RO Robyn Olsen had the fleets away briskly and the first of the radial fleet began to spill around the top mark in quick time. The breeze was starting to swing to the left and by the end of the afternoon was almost due west with not a sign of the abrupt change that signifies the sou-wester booming past the capes.
Local knowledge has its pleasure and it was without surprise that the locals swung into the shore to pick up the breeze that was coming through on the left of the course. Listening to one of the younger full rig sailors today, he said that he hadn’t sailed down at Busselton for a while, but it didn’t take him long to catch the shore breeze and neither did everyone else.
The two races had everyone spilling into the shore as the sun was setting in the West over Cape Naturaliste and all we had was the time to grab a quick snag in a roll and then head off home for a shower and perhaps dinner with friends.
As to the results.
The Full rigs have Alistair Young first and Mark Wong second while trading places at the front with Mark taking a first and a fourth in the second. Alistair took a third in the first race and came first in the second. Third over all is Lachy Gilham with a fourth and a second. In the masters, Bruce Utting is leading, showing that there is still a little sparkle in his eyes.
In the 4.7s Joshua Pang is showing all class early on in the regatta with two bullets to his name and it has been left to Hayden Coote and Rome Featherstone to take second and third both on 6 points. In the girls Bee Allison was a very good seventh over the line and leading female with Geordie Sicree in ninth over the line and second behind Bee. But oh what tears there will be in the morning when three younger sailors realize that they were penalized for having not signed either on or off during the day.
It’s not easy being in the radial class as Zoe Thomson is finding out, especially when you are a light weight radial driver, however today fell into her range and she was only three boats behind Elyse Ainsworth. But in the men’s radials, both Conor Nicholas and Caelin Winchcombe are 5 apiece, each taking a fourth and a first. The big improver is Zac Littlewood who scored an eighth in the first race and a second in the next race giving him third spot, but looking at the ups and downs in the placings over the first ten boats in the two races, it’s possible that there could be some other changes shortly.
The weather forecast for Sunday is promising with every chance of the two races getting away on time and in a fair breeze.
Images by Rick Steuart Photography